How to Export Data from the Type/Creator Database


I can’t figure out how to make a post of my own, so technically I’m also interested in that TCDB database that was mentioned earlier.

I installed Panorama 5. No ability to export the file. Installed Panorama 6. Still can’t export.

This database is very particular because it uses legacy Mac OS characters, which are not properly copied over to the .XLSX format that was released as free. So I’m trying to figure out how to export this TCDB to something “modern” but still retains the correct (and really obscure) characters. Probably something as a CSV file with Macintosh legacy character support.


I believe all Panorama versions could “export”. The terminology is a bit different.
To export you select the records you want to export, then SaveAs and pick TEXT. You should get another dialog that lets you specify which fields and if you want the first line to be the field names (from Panorama). I believe - it’s been years since I’ve had to do this - you can also specify the delimiter between fields - a tab or a comma.

Understand that you are asking about software that hasn’t been “current” for decades and will only run on computers you’d be lucky to find on eBay.

It’s like you are asking how to write a letter with the WriteNow word processor application, or lay out a page with Ready, Set, Go.

So - are you saying you’ve found a computer and OS old enough to install and run Panorama 5, and you can see and select records? Have you gotten that far?

He has also installed Panorama 6, and the screen shot he linked to shows the open database.

Here are some screen shots of the dialogs you described.

I’m guessing that you got the database and .xlsx file from this web page, which hasn’t been updated in 21 years.

On that web page it says that this is shareware, and the file is locked. Based on the screen shot that was submitted, it looks like the original author, Ilan Szekely, modified the Panorama menus so that you can’t use the export and save commands that are normally built into Panorama. So I think you might be out of luck.

Actually, I think the characters are just fine. The problem is that the file is using the old MacOS Roman encoding format, and modern software doesn’t support that. You need to convert it into Unicode, and I don’t know of any way to do that.

If you could manage to save the file using Panorama 6, you could then open it with Panorama X. Panorama X will automatically do the conversion from MacOS Roman to Unicode when you open an old Panorama 6 file. But I think because of the way Szekely has locked down the file, you won’t be able to save the file in Panorama 6. As I said earlier, I think you are probably out of luck, unless you can find Mr. Szekely and get an unlocked copy of the file.

Thank you Dave, My browser wouldn’t open the link in 65536’s post so I didn’t know the situation. I was able to unstuff the TCDB200310Mac.sit file but that resulted in several files with the main, “meat and potatoes” file protected by a StuffIt password.

Note that Smith Micro’s own StuffIt Expander wouldn’t recognize that file. I had to use The Unarchiver by MacPaw.

I’d think you could find a list of the now-defunct Type/Creator codes on the web.

Later I may blow the dust of an old MacMini and see if Pan6 can read one database I found that wasn’t .sit protected.

Thank you all for your responses, and the split off to a new thread.

Here’s what I’ve got. There’s a lot going on so bear with me.

Upper left: Panorama menu.
Middle left: Selecting window. (Window is as you’d expect for a normal OS X program.)
Lower left: Sorting menu.

Upper right: Tools menu, with Preferences open.
Middle right: An entry selected. No option to export it, see menu bar. Can’t select all entries either.
Lower right: The contents of the TCDB folder, with the decrypted .pan file.

Since the database was released as free, I don’t foresee any objections to a decryption hash being posted. 4CbCRj works as a decryption phrase, courtesy of Bob Kiwi of the Macintosh Garden. (It’s just a Stuffit 5 archive, for which the decryption of the double MD5 hash operation has been documented.) I opened that in Panorama because word is that the .xlsx file has been corrupted. While there are errors in this older version we want (i.e. .SEA files do have a type and creator, because they’re compact applications with decompressing an archive) we’re not too worried about that now.

So how do I “unmodify” the database file to permit exporting? Surely there has to be a bit flag somewhere or something that can be changed with a hex editor. While I don’t think I’d be entitled to much of the inner workings of the software, there’s got to be a way to do it.

These are security features built into Panorama. If there is a way to do it, it would apply to every database that uses those features. Jim might know how to do it. It’s possible someone else has figured out a way to do it, but there is absolutely no one who can ethically tell you how to do it.

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As it happens, I have a version 3.1 of the type-creator database. At some point lost in the mists of time, the list was converted to a FileMaker db, which I obtained and exported to a tab-separated text file. The Read Me file is dated Dec 6, 1997 and claims 17,863 entries, and also permits sharing as long as the documentation is included. Given that this is a crowd-sourced compilation, I would guess that half or less of these entries were accurate or useful, but if you can use a TSV flie I’d be happy to share it.

Incidentally, if you have a text file with gibberish that you suspect is caused by text encoding, there is an easy way to transform it. BBEdit ( has several ways to translate, the easiest being a simple Reopen Using Encoding… menu selection. It includes 6 flavors of unicode, DOS, ISO Latin, and MacRoman, plus whatever you select from the settings/preferences list—even symbols.